A PARKatlanta employee that showed up at one of the meters Tuesday morning, Desawi Yosef, said he was unaware of the issue and would have to report it. In the meantime, he said the company wouldn’t ticket vehicles parked at broken meters. (Enjoy the free parking while it lasts.)
Valerie Bell-Smith, spokesperson for Atlanta's department of public works that oversees the PARKatlanta contract, said PARKatlanta — and not tax payers — will be responsible for the repairs.
"It's not like tax payers are going to be billed for it," she said. " PARKatlanta maintains the meters, so they will be ensuring the meters are operational."
She also said the enforcement agency learned of the incident late yesterday, but wasn't sure how PARKatlanta employees were notified since they don't report directly to public works.
Local business owner Leon True Green said “PARKatlanta is out of their minds,” and applauded the vandalism of the meters.
“Yeah, I’m happy about it because there needs to be some type of etiquette for PARKatlanta,” Green, operator of W.E.T.T. Wellness Studio on Edgewood Avenue, said. “Their etiquette has created a division between that company and the community.”
According to a blog post from the group, the move was also “a small gesture of solidarity” with activists in the Pacific-Northwest who were recently served court subpoenas in connection with the May Day protests that turned violent in Seattle earlier this summer.
“All across the country — in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, East St. Louis, the Twin Cities, Seattle, and elsewhere — anarchists have decided to meet this repression with further attacks against the dominant social order,” the group told East Atlanta Patch in an e-mail. “We hope that our humble act warms the hearts of all who resist."
The anarchists also tagged “fuck grand juries” on the side of a local business around a large cluster of parking meters on the strip. The next morning, the outfit dropped a banner over Freedom Parkway with a similar message.
As of early Tuesday, glue on a handful of meters had come loose, rendering them operable. One had a quarter stuck in it, and dozens more remained sealed-tight.
The public relations manager for Atlanta’s department of public works — who’s the official spokesperson for privately-run PARKatlanta — was unable to be reached at the time of publication.
APD expects a formal police report to be filled later today.
"We do not have any tips or suspects at the present time," APD spokesman Curtis Davenport said in an e-mail. "If anyone has any information, we encourage them to come forward."
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